On the Road

a girl sad with tears
So Tired and Worn
I was traveling for work, out on the road   –  I stopped for a bite to eat
I was worn out and tired, about to explode  –  And had to get out of the heat!
Back to the car, I buckled up tight  –  And braced for the rest of the trip
I needed to go, before I ran out of light  –  Fatigue had me in its grip
That’s when I noticed, things were all wrong  –  I nearly started to panic
I was uptight and far from my calm  –  You could say I was frantic!
I looked and looked for something I’d lost  –  Right in front of my face!
The more I looked, the more I tossed  –  And started to run out of Grace!
Anxiety took over and worry was dear  –  Frenzied to find it was I
The more I thought, the less I was clear  –  And then I began to sigh,
“Why me? Why me? What have I done  –  To deserve a problem like this?”
Pity ran rampant, life was no fun,  –  I forgot every moment of bliss
Then quietly prodded, the sweet Holy Spirit  –  “You haven’t even asked me”,
“I tried to speak , but you couldn’t hear it”  –  “I know where you put that key”!
I felt ashamed, I was all out of steam  –  I had blamed everybody in sight
I couldn’t believe, I was so mean  –  By now I’d run out of fight.
“God please forgive me, I’m sorry I failed,  –  To use my faith instead”
And as I prayed, my soul, unjailed  –  The shadows that brooded, fled!
I looked and looked for something I’d lost  –  You know, it wasn’t my key!
The more I fretted, the more I forgot  –  How Jesus has made me free!

 

Thank God I grew up…and…. Thanks for stopping by, Nancy

 

a rest-weary-

Snot, Shoe Laces, Homework and a Bike

a girl receiving prayer

Let Me Help you !!

Snot, Shoe Laces, Homework and a Bike

 

My 10-yr old granddaughter kept snuffing and sniffing, then coughed.

The gurgling in her throat and the mucus rumbling with each breath began to eat at me while we were driving! I had just picked her up from school, and we had a bit of a drive before we were home.

Handing her a few tissues, I said a couple of things in a nice way to try to get her attention. Silence!

She continued to gurgle, and then cough. My admonishment to cover her mouth went unheeded as she was distracted by the sights outside the vehicle! Finally, a bit exasperated, I huffed out, “Hannah! Blow your nose instead of snuffing all that nasty stuff back up inside. You need to get it out!”

“Why?” she whined. “It will only come back!” Her eyes rolled back in her head as I proceeded to explain.

Okay, that didn’t work. I asked her if her stuffy nose didn’t make her uncomfortable. She didn’t think so.

My eyebrows knit together, I asked her about the runny stuff creeping down her face. She informed me she just wiped it on her sleeve. Yuk! I know her mother trained her better, why then all this lack of attention to what would be better behavior and a better outcome? Suddenly, a big ACHOO! Oh No! A huge rope of thick, white and green slime strung from her nose to her hands, hanging all over her spread-out fingers like silly string!

“Help, help!”  she cried.

“I’m driving! Use the tissue!” I chided.

“I can’t,” she squalled!

Looking for a safe place to exit, I told her to hold still! I sure didn’t want that junk all over my seat! How did one little nose hold so much anyway?

Armed with a handful of baby wipes, I exited the car and came around to her side. I had her get out so I could inspect where she had been sitting. The dental field had transformed me into a bit of an infection control freak!

The seat, the dashboard, her pants, all underwent a thorough wiping with antibacterial wipes. Hannah seemed un-phased and was skipping all over the front of an orchard while I worked.

I noticed her shoes were untied. “Hannah – tie your shoes, please,” I called.

“It doesn’t matter, they don’t stay tied anyway!” she sang out, occupied with more important things. “Check out this bug”, was her further reply.

“Hannah, watch out! You could trip!” I said, and, as I started toward her, the inevitable happened.

“Owwwwwww”, she moaned, trying to pick herself up from the dirt.

When I asked her why she didn’t tie her shoes, I realized that she had never really mastered the task well. Besides, she informed me that it was just too much trouble, when tucking them in would do. Besides, all the other kids tucked theirs in too – didn’t I know? It was no BIG deal!

I tied them for her anyway. No stitches, no cut lips or broken teeth on my watch! I’m sure my blood pressure rose a few points!

Back into the car, ten minutes later we were on our way again. Safe at home, I fixed Hannah a snack while she worked on homework. I set her plate down and noticed that her usually impeccable handwriting was exceptionally sloppy as she hurried through her lesson.

“What – is – this?” I slowly steamed.

“My homework”, was the salty reply.

“I mean, it’s really kind of sloppy, you know. Why are you hurrying through it?” was my query.

“Teacher doesn’t care…” Hannah snipped.

“Well I DO! You can do better work than this!” I said and the fight was on! It brought back memories of me sitting by the side of one of my children, when they were younger, coaching them along and asking, “How else can you say this?”

The hissy fits ensued! Although, my popularity in those days was in question, that child, in particular, thanks me now!

Snapping back to the present, and Hannah’s complaints, I heard, “Why do I have to redo this? Teacher doesn’t care!” Hannah whimpered.

“You should care! Doing it correctly will pay off later. A good job will be your reward,” was my attempt at resolving the issue. How could I make her understand?

A pouting mouth was evidence that she didn’t agree but she obeyed and began making things right. At least she was still teachable and willing to obey. Then, out of the blue, Hannah stopped cold! She sighed, a big one and her little face started to beam. “Huh! Grandma……Papa and I were talking the other day. He said that if I didn’t take care of the small things, I wouldn’t be able to handle the big things later.”

Did she actually say that? Was that little brain, in fact, engaged? I about fell off my chair! We talked about what Proverbs said about the slothful guy who said there was a lion in the street and used that as an excuse not to go to work.

Then conversation led to her bike. She still didn’t know how to ride it, and tried to blame it on her mother. While, in part, she did need an adult’s assistance, Hannah had merely dismissed trying because she couldn’t do it right away without a fall – so she gave up! Lazy, lazy, lazy!

That flippant reasoning was certainly not limited to Hannah! Our culture has fostered a slothful laziness with the expectancy of entitlement to things without doing that which might be hard. Practice does make perfect. Certainly it takes time and energy – even some sweat equity!

My daughter who became a Dental Hygienist recently is the one who unceasingly thanks me for training her properly, and not letting her get away with anything. I used to have a magnet on the fridge that read, “Responsibility: knowing and doing that which is expected of me without higher authority.”

Carrying that further, it is no wonder people don’t know how to hear from God, let alone how to be led by God! Being led by God is all learned behavior. He expects us to do our part without Him always chiding or coddling!

Flesh will always be flesh. Our flesh is not born again, so must be trained, and brought into submission. Our minds are not redeemed yet either. It is dangerous for us to allow our minds to just roam! That is why God has instructed us to RENEW our minds.

Obviously, WE can’t keep them under control! I hate hearing that God brought calamity in someone’s life in order to bring them closer to Him. Personally, I’d rather practice now before the storm comes.

Preparation of any type, is tedious, but at least I won’t moan and groan and give up easily! I’ll be prepared and ready to ride it out with an expected, victorious outcome!

 

 

Treasure Trumps Trouble

a treasure chest

 

Treasure Trumps Trouble

Sitting in a bent chair outside of a coffee shop, nonchalantly scooping his nachos, he seemed to be lost in thought. Rocking side to side with each shift of his weight, he hardly seemed to notice the passersby.

However, this neat, little round man with his balding round head looked up briefly as we passed. Those eyes! They were far away and sad.  He wasn’t really looking at me, but something inside me went, “ding, ding, ding – alert!”

I didn’t look back, but I’m pretty sure I noticed a medium-sized duffle bag on wheels, with a neatly penned sign, “Please help – homeless,” sitting on top.

Could it be? I have a knack for picking up on these things.  Still walking, I found myself scrunching up my eyebrows trying to recall a picture of what I just passed.

“Did you see that?” I asked my husband.

“What?” he asked back.

Well, it was obvious that he noticed nothing. Randy was already guiding me by my elbow into the coffee shop, so I didn’t want to detract from him.  We’d just come from a lively family birthday dinner, and were looking forward to a few minutes of “just us” before heading out on the drive home.

We got our coffee and I sat so I could see the door. Randy was on the phone, so I sat watching as colorful characters strode in and out of the shop.  My mind kept going back to this fellow.  I wondered if he was still there.

As if in answer to my thoughts, in he strode and headed for the bathroom. Was that really the same guy?  He seemed too clean to be homeless.  I looked for the duffle.  Moments later, he was nearly in front of me, standing in line for some black coffee to be added to a travel thermos.  He counted his coins.  There was a subdued exchange back and forth between him and the guy behind the counter.  He left.

Minutes later, we headed for our car. It was parked smack in front of where the man was sitting.  From all appearances he seemed like a normal person just enjoying his food and the new daylight savings time. His sign had fallen over, and since he was so neat and clean, none would have suspected.

Scrutinizing the situation, I Instinctively grabbed one of our pre-made homeless bags from the back, all the while whispering to Randy. He was stuck on “pause,” so I had to give him a minute to get up to speed and follow what I was doing.

Before the coffee shop, we had stopped at the store where I picked up more than I needed. Now I knew why.  Into the bag went these extra items.  Then, between us, we managed to scrounge together $10 in cash. Since Randy was with me, I sent him over to deliver everything.

From inside the car I observed the man’s face brighten as Randy handed him the bag and money. He pulled out an orange and grinned!  A brief conversation ensued, and then Randy got in our car.

He was quiet.

“What’s up?” I asked

He backed the car out and put it into drive. I looked back to see the man rummaging thru the bag.  He looked pleased.  I tried to remember what Chick booklets I had placed inside.  No matter, most of them have a printed message that shows the way to God and the Life hereafter.

Headed toward the windmills, Randy finally spoke.

“His name is David, and. . . “ Then, Randy proceeded to fill me in.

David’s story brought tears to my eyes for so many reasons. In short, he was trying to get some work so he could get to Canada to be with his boyfriend, where he could “end this thing with someone who loved and cared about him.”

The words stung my ears.

“End this thing”….did he mean life?

Yes……He was dying of AIDS.   He expressed his feelings as if no one else on earth considered him valuable.

My mood became somber and I started praying out loud over him. How could he NOT know that there is a God who loved him and doesn’t want him to be alone? Doesn’t he know that God considers his life precious?

How…could…he …live…here…in …this…country…and…not…know?

Suddenly I felt as if I hadn’t done enough, but we were already miles away.

Tears came, more in frustration and anger aimed at the destroyer of lives, than anything. What if he didn’t last?  I prayed for another “Laborer of the Harvest” to be sent to him.  We usually pray with people but it didn’t work out this time.

Thoughts revolved in my head as accompanying emotions left me feeling momentarily helpless. I did what I could do, but it seemed extremely minute in light of his need.

We take a lot for granted. All things being considered, our existence is really very brief.

But, this is NOT the End. Once we step out of our bodies that is when we will acquire full and perfect knowledge of the LOVE that IS waiting for us. This is our everlasting treasure!

I have to trust that the Loving Heavenly Father will be able to reach David and meet his real need.   As for me….I continue to “go into all” my world and reach out to the people placed in my path.  The excellence of God’s power can get into a situation – any situation – even David’s.  When I do what I can do, God will do what I can’t.

There is trouble on every side, but The Treasure that’s been put inside me trumps trouble every time.

This post is linked Tell Me a True Story

 

Only God. . . Only God!

a woman on phone green

 

“Dental Assisting School,”  I answered.

After inadvertently being forced into a recess for over 6 months by circumstances beyond my control, I was so happy that the calls were finally starting to come in!

The woman on the other end carefully inquired about the duration of the session, the tuition and the payment plans. She paused, and then asked if she could pay about $100/ month.

“I’m sorry, but the school is so small that it cannot carry students. The best I can do is split payments into 6 months,” was my reply.

I suggested that she plan for sometime next year. Her voice trailed as she thanked me for my time. I sensed disappointment.

Now any other person would have just let her hang-up so they could get on with THEIR business. I knew something was up.

“Don’t give up!” I called out before she could go.

“What? What did you say?”

“Well….”, I began. “Don’t give up! You could set a goal for yourself and begin putting your budget of $100/month into a savings account.  I have had other students who did that,  and they were finally able to attend.    By the way, what is it you want to do with yourself? What would you like to accomplish by attending this small school?”

My questions evoked a rash of emotions from her. Excitement, fear, tears and then, hope.

There was no hesitation – her story gushed.

Apparently, she had been on the path to a wonderful career in Dental Hygiene when cancer took her on a 10-year detour. It was a fight for her life, but she made it!

It had cost her some prime time in her life, and any financial security she had established, but she was alive! Her mother and an uncle were not so lucky.  They suffered similarly, but did not recover.

I listened, hushed, whispering a prayer.

This woman did not feel adequate enough to approach the dental field without some type of refresher course. She told me that her best hope was to, maybe, work as a dental assistant.

“Okay,” I responded. “Now close your eyes, “ I continued.   “Are they closed??”

“Yes.” My ears heard it….a small, but compliant “Yes.”

“Okay”. “Father God I am coming to you on behalf of this precious woman.  God, You know all things and I know you didn’t send her to me by accident…..”

The prayer became energized by the Holy Spirit and covered a lot of things that I might not have been able to figure out on my own.

I love it when God takes over. He knows the end from the beginning, and he began speaking out her life and His love for her.  He spoke of guidance and encouragement; of having ears to hear and eyes open to opportunities.

“…Amen.”

“Amen,” she echoed.  We were both quiet for a moment as the reality of what had just happened sunk in.  The she became happily excited as we discussed other possibilities for her.  I promised to e-mail her some helpful info..

 

Did I sign up another student at a time when I so desperately needed one? No, not her anyway.

Did I do what God directed me to do? Yes.

It would have been much easier to go back to creating the advertising piece on which I had been working, by just hanging up before any conversation could commit me.

All in all, it didn’t really hurt me to step out.

She hadn’t expected it!   An unexpected demonstration of God’s love, go figure!  He is way beyond cool!

A faceless, nameless voice on the phone told her that she wasn’t forgotten.   An unexplainable bit of confirmation let her know that God was, indeed, guiding her, and that things were turning around.

She was in awe. Her voice reflected joy and hope as we ended the call.

I am in awe too.   Only God….Only God.

This post has been shared with Hazel’s Tell Me a True Story